Today the sun is shining. My face is shining too. My heart feels happy and light. My body feels energetic and free. When I said goodbye to my gang this morning, it was with an extra air of pride, love, and passion. It's only been 2 hours since I awakened to the sound of birds singing in my ear, and it already feels like a fulfilling day. My dishes are done, my laundry started, my little critters happily fed and peeping contentedly. Can it get any betetr than this moment? No. I am grateful for my life. Grateful for my family and my accomplishments. Grateful for the home in which I live and the European culture I get to explore on a daily basis. Grateful that my husband is employed and his paycheck provides adequately for all our needs and wants. Grateful for the flowers blooming and the breeze blowing. Today the sun is shining. My face is shining too.
Saturday was my choir's spring concert. It was really inspiring. Though my choir didn't have the very best of concerts, the thrill of stepping on stage and seeing all those people stare back at you, waiting for you to entertain them, is such an adrenaline rush. I am a pretty shy person at heart...but I also love attention. A strange combination, but standing on stage singing, well, it gives me the best of both worlds. Our three guest choirs also gave lovely performances, though one was just music to my ears. Upbeat, wanna get up and dance kinda songs...all melodious and it just grabbed me. Plus, I was drinking wine, chatting with my fellow choir members, just really enjoying my big night out. Though I left relatively early and didn't stay to help clean up, it was just the kind of evening that makes me feel at home here in another world. I felt a part of something bigger, I felt included, and I felt happy.
Saturday I also spent the afternoon shopping. Not grocery shopping, not running errands, but true girly-fashion shopping. I was so excited going into the fitting rooms, my arms laden down with clothing that I could actually fit into and zip up and staring back at me in the mirror was a beautiful woman who is taking care of herself for the first time in a long time. I have been working really hard to be healthier...excersising, eating right, meditating. Looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself what a lovely woman I am. I rid my hair of the greys, plucked my thick brows, and feel just so much happier with the image staring back at me. And, it helps that the numbers on the scale keep going down...not too quickly, but steadily. And with those numbers falling, so is my dress size. I walked into the dressing rooms with clothing 2 sizes smaller than I have had to buy in the past 5 years! Taking care of me is working. I still have a long ways to go, but man, did that ever feel good! And, I bought a couple new skirts (yes, skirts!!!) and a pants suit which I am considering wearing for the boys' special events coming up in May. I love shopping alone...I can take my time, look over my selections, decide what I like and what I want, without worrying about bored little boys or friends that are ready for a coffee break. Not that I don't enjoy girls days out too, but yeah, there's something so empowering about shopping on your own.
During my shopping expedition, Erwin and Opa worked on our new serre and shed! When I got home, my messy old trashing ground was turned into a little wooden paradise...it is so homey and reminds me of a little log cabin in the woods. It's amazing what changing your environment can do for your spirit. I can't wait until we get all our little treasures secured on the walls and can burn candles into the night while sitting out chatting in the warm summer evenings, a beer or glass of wine before us, my husband and I discussing our lives together. So, THANK YOU to my husband and my father-in-law! I just LOVE it!
Another little something which may seem totally unnoticed to some, was worth a million bucks to me. At Jari's soccer game Saturday he was the goalie. I was standing behind the goal to guide him and give him tips...go a bit more forward, here comes the ball, get ready, grab it!!! He did a good job, even if he let a few get into the net. But at one moment, a ball was whooshing past the sidelines and I jumped over and stopped it with my foot, kicked it back onto the field, and started back to my place behind the goal. All the moms from our team, standing on the sidelines, started whooping and cheering "Go Tera! Yeah! Whooooo!! Whatta player!" They were clapping and joking and I raised my hands over my head and gave them a big thumbs up. I am an outsider in their world. As much as I do my best to fit in, it just doesn't come naturally. They were all raised here in this village together, they went to school together, have a history...and speak the dialect that I cannot manage to wrap my head around, so I often get lost in the conversation around me. Yet, in that one moment, hearing them cheer MY NAME (I didn't even know if some of them know my name), I felt so much a part of their world. So much invited and drawn in. I was a winner. And that feeling hasn't left me yet. Maybe, after all this time, I am finally beginning to be accepted into this foreign little town, this place that is truly becoming my home.
Sunday we headed to Helmond to celebrate Oma's birthday. With them we shared our first BBQ of the season. We played with the kids in the yard, a beautiful afternoon, celebrating the life of this woman I have come to love and cherish. Erwin's entire family has welcomed me with open arms, and when I am with them I can be true to myself, and still be loved and supported. I absolutely feel 100% at home with them, and sharing my days with them is something I have come to treasure. Happy Birthday Oma!
And finally, tomorrow is the big day. When I speak of it, my nerves get all twisted and I feel the tenseness in my shoulders. I am a bit scared. But, I am so hopeful. Tomorrow, we bring Kaeden for his intake at the hospital. We are finally being heard as parents screaming for help for our son, for our family. And our cries are being carried through the breeze and reaching their way into the doors of help. Maybe I am being too optimistic about what can be done. But right now, at this moment in time, I need to be optimistic. I need to believe that my son and our family can achieve this dream of becomign a ball of twine, all twisted together to form that perfect circle, one long, never-ending circle of threads, strung together tightly, held together by each other, able to tear apart, but wanting to be unified as one. Tomorrow is teh first step in that direction.
But, that's tomorrow. Today the sun is shining. My face is shining too.